Lyft, the San Francisco based ride-share company, is looking to expand its horizon by purchasing the largest bike-share program in the country. As reported by Digital Trends, Lyft is close to sealing a deal in which it would pay roughly $250 million to acquire Motivate, the company behind Citibike. While both companies have reportedly agreed to the deal, it has yet to be finalized.
Motivate has become a driving force in sidewalk transportation. The company was responsible for over 75 percent of the bike-share trips taken in 2017. It operates seven public-private partnerships with local governments including Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare, San Francisco’s FordGoBike, Chicago’s Divvy, Columbus Ohio’s CoGo, Boston’s Blue Bikes, and NYC’s Citibike. The company boasts roughly 800 employees. As per the company website, in April 2018 alone, their bikes were taken out on 1,307,542 trips in NY; 329,049 in DC; 200,071 in Chicago; 131, 527 in the Bay Area; and 98,190 trips in Boston.
Lyft, the privately-held transportation giant founded in 2012, is compelled to get a piece of the bike-share market for three main reasons. First off, although the bike-share market is relatively small, it is growing rapidly. In 2017, there were 35 million bike-share trips taken in the U.S., which is a 25 percent leap from 2016. Second, any expansion helps a company to diversify its portfolio, which increases the company’s overall potential for success. Lastly, in April, its chief competitor, Uber, inked a deal to purchase Jump, a Brooklyn-based bike-sharing company. Jump operates a dock-less system, which offers commuters slightly more flexibility in pick-up and drop-off locations. Still that $200 million deal was for a much smaller company in terms of the number or users, total bikes, and locations. By comparison, this deal with Motivate would give Lyft a great advantage over its competitor.
By: Ilana Siyance